In Western Pomerania water tourism is a very important sector of tourism. Various types of water sports, including adventure ones, would not exist if it weren’t for pure water, beautiful landscapes and natural wealth. In this case it is impossible to separate the understandable need to use natural resources with the need to preserve and protect them. Putting too much emphasis on one or another aspect often leads to misunderstandings and conflicts, to the detriment of man and nature. That is why information and education actions are extremely important, raising awareness of multifaceted importance of a river ecosystem for man. These elements of the importance of nature to humans, who benefit from them (including economic profits) without degrading them, are called ecosystem functions or services. These issues were discussed during the second workshops organized as a part of LIFEDrawaPL project (Action E.4).
Open workshops entitled ” Water sports and river habitats protection ” were held on 10th March 2017 in the Hall of Faculty of Biology, University of Szczecin. They were based on reports and debates. The following topics were planned to be presented and discussed:
- Kayaking as an element of the use of natural resources – there is a pressure or not. Ways to limit (Ms Edyta Jaszczuk – WWF Poland Foundation).
- Water sports as a business sector – importance to the region (Mr Damian Greś – Director of the Tourism, Economy and Promotion Department, Marshal’s Office of the West Pomeranian Voivodship).
- The habitat of water-crowfoots riverst as an attractive area for water sports in West Pomerania Region. (Mr Artur Furdyna – President of TPRIiG).
The workshops’ moderator was Mr Artur Furdyna.
The discussion that accompanied the workshops gives an optimistic view of the future. A valuable exchange of views was primarily based on personal experiences of workshops’ participants, mainly from the tourism sector. Everybody agreed that natural resources cannot be used in an unrestricted and unbalanced manner. Especially if this is the case with such a precious wealth as water. Each of us, a clerk, a teacher, a tourist service provider, a user of water and its resources, a tourist etc. is obliged to take care of water and to education, also, and perhaps above all, by setting an example.
The workshops were attended by 36 persons who represented the following institutions/organizations: Marshal’s Office of the West Pomeranian Voivodship, Offices of Towns and Communes of Drawno, Czaplinek, Brzeżno, Dobiegniew, University of Szczecin, District Offices in Białogard and Choszczno, WWF Poland, LOT “Wokół Drawy”, ZZMiUW, ZPKWZ, RBGPWZ, PZW Szczecin, TPRIiG, EU-Consult, water tourism companies in the LIFEDrawaPL project region. The LIFEDrawa Project was represented by: Beata Gąsiorowska, Tomasz Heese, Ewelina Berkowska, Aneta Radecka, Piotr Waloch and Wojciech Wójcik.